Published: 05:00, 24 October 2021
The family of a woman stabbed and killed by her own son think her death was preventable, an inquest has heard.
Lesley Spearing died after being attacked by Jamie Burnett at her home in Oast View Terrace, Rainham, on October 10, 2019.
Burnett, previously of Old Road, Chatham, was charged with murdering the 55-year-old but “wasn’t fit to stand trial”, according to Judge Charles Gratwicke.
Instead, a jury was asked to determine if the 29-year-old committed the act, rather than consider in the usual way whether or not he was guilty.
Following a two-day hearing, they ruled he had done so and a judge ordered him to be sent to a psychiatric hospital.
On Thursday, a pre-inquest review at County Hall in Maidstone heard from Lesley’s son Stephen, who was in the house at the time of the attack and tried to wrestle his brother away from their mother.
He told the court he believed her death was preventable.
Last year, a court heard how Stephen’s cousin Kiri Auguar, who was also present at the inquest with her sister and mum, was living at the Medway house and attempted CPR before ambulance crews arrived.
Despite their efforts, they were unable to save her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Coroner Sonia Hayes listed Kent Police, Stephen Burnett and the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT) as interested parties to attend the inquest.
She added KMPT after mentioning Ms Spearing had raised concerns over her son Jamie’s condition and mental health prior to her death.
Ms Hayes told the court: “What struck me was she was clearly telling people she had concerns and he was visiting the house.”
It was also revealed during the hearing a domestic homicide review report regarding the incident and whether anything could have been done to prevent Ms Spearing's death was in a draft stage.
The coroner concluded the hearing by telling the family an exact date for Ms Spearing’s inquest could not be set, but it would likely be next spring at the earliest.